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Aberystwyth Mon Amour (Aberystwyth Noir #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  1,998 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
Schoolboys are being murdered all over Aberystwyth and nobody knows why. Louie Knight, the town's private investigator, soon realises that finding out what is happening to the boys is not going to be easy.
Paperback, 245 pages
Published 2002 by Bloomsbury (first published 2001)
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Feb 26, 2012 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, humour
There's a particular strain of whimsy running through British fiction that I can't quite figure out. Sometimes, as with Jasper Fforde, I find it tedious; very occasionally, as with a few Robert Rankin and an even fewer Tom Holt novels, it works. Terry Pratchett is the only person who has pulled it off with any consistency: a comic novel with a dead serious plot.

Malcolm Pryce veers between a bewildering variety of registers in this novel, encompassing schoolboy humour (a girl with the surname Bl
...more
Amanda
Aug 25, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amanda by: Gary Dicken
4.5 stars really. This book was a perfect mix of very well done noir and some hilarious black comedy with just a touch of fantasy thrown in. The only gripe I had was that a couple bits of the mystery were a little obvious, but the writing was so excellent that it overshadowed that issue for me. Louie Kight is my new favorite investigator.

I am jonesing for the next book Last Tango in Aberystwyth, which I've ordered but has not arrived. It's all i can think about.
Neil
Jan 21, 2016 Neil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading various reviews about this book I had high expectations. Billed in a similar genre, and alongside such writers, as Tom Holt, Jasper Fforde and Terry Pratchett. I have now finished the book and I am quite disappointed, it didn't really resonate with me at all. I get that it was a bit of a pastiche on the glut of dime store detective novels, although transposed to Wales, but the plot was very thin. There was some humour, but not anything that I felt that I immediately wanted to share ...more
Nikki
Oct 05, 2010 Nikki rated it liked it
I really, really wanted to like Aberystwyth Mon Amour. Somehow, though, I'm not sure I really did. I thought it was very inventive and pretty funny. I loved the horror of a realisation that someone was, wait for it... English, for example. It's funny, but it's also true, in a way. The idea of someone who seems like a quintessential part of Welsh culture turning out to be English -- I can imagine that really happening, really being a betrayal, although not on such a dramatic scale.

The plot is pat
...more
Sam
Dec 23, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it
While I may not have enjoyed this quite as much as The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still, this was still an absolute joy to read and completely embraced the dark satirical humour that I loved in the later book. Here Pryce throws Knight into the strange and weird world of the Druids who run the town Mafia style including the Moulin where Myfanwy works. A feisty young woman who uses her skills and talents to encourage Knight to investigate the schoolboy murders that have been happening all over Aberystw ...more
Michelle
Nov 18, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
I spotted this as a cheap read in a random bookshop a few years ago, and I'm glad I did; it has some delightfully offbeat humour and a level of darkness that suits me to a T.

However, I really strongly advise people that if they've never been to Aberyswyth (or at least Wales) they're really missing a trick. I could really feel it as I read it, so many jokes were going over my head just because at the time, I didn't really know much about Wales. Something I've confirmed since I've moved there.
Clive Thompson
Jul 13, 2013 Clive Thompson rated it it was amazing
Another holiday read. Browsing the shelves of 'BOOKS ETC.' in Gatwick airport when suddenly the word Aberystwyth jumped out at me - but surely I was wrong and had misread the title as the picture on the front had nothing to do with the town I know so well. The brash colours of this typically American looking 'Dime Thriller' even has printed on crease marks to make the book look well thumbed. I wont say that I couldn't put this book down, just that I bought it at 7.00am and it was finished by 11p ...more
John Carter McKnight
Aug 03, 2013 John Carter McKnight rated it really liked it
What a wonderful find! This loving homage to the hardboiled detective novel is set in an alternate-history Wales, where the Druids are the local mob, and the Welsh military adventure in Patagonia left traumatized and stigmatized veterans homeless on the seaside. Every genre cliche is twisted to the setting, often hilariously, even for someone missing the vast amount of cultural in-jokes.

On top of that, it's a really good story, with memorable characters, carefully crafted plot twists, Chekhov's
...more
Anastassia Dyubkova
Jan 24, 2016 Anastassia Dyubkova rated it really liked it
Доведение до абсурда - это своего рода талант, присущий далеко не всем авторам, но Малколм Прайс им явно наделён. Он написал один из самых странных детективов, которые мне когда-либо доводилось читать.
По сути, наверно, эта книга - скорее пародия на нуарный детектив, и законы жанра здесь вполне соблюдены. Но уж очень гротескно. Отдельные моменты в книге настолько дурацкие, что даже не кажутся странными; абсурдность происходящего если и не возведена в абсолют, то в любом случае близка к этому. В э
...more
Gill
Sep 16, 2011 Gill rated it it was ok
Shelves: other-times, cymru, 2011
Love it or hate it? People who have read it seem to have gravitated to the two extremes, and the reviews here reflect this.
I really can't make my mind up about it, as there were parts where I suspended disbelief and was carried along with a clever and twisty plot, and there were other parts where it just annoyed me. Details of the town geography and topography captured perfectly, only to be let down by something discordantly out of place.

People mention the capturing of the Welsh voice, but for
...more
Rein
Jul 05, 2016 Rein rated it really liked it
Now this was a nice surprise. It took some time to get used to this alternative version of Wales (not that I know enough of the real one), and this accounts for the 4 instead of 5 stars, but otherwise a real treat, a mixture of Chandleresque melancholy with occasionally cynical black humour, a rampant fantasy and some really memorable scenes (not characters though, but the genre is a bit dependent on cliches). Some of the turns most likely meant to be surprises I guessed, but then there were a f ...more
Craigb
Nov 26, 2011 Craigb rated it it was amazing
I've been meaning to read this book for some time and when I came across the first 3 novels in the series at a local car-boot sale (for the princely sum of £1) I snapped them up.

This is a comic fantasy "noir" novel with plenty of twists and turns. Think of a mesh up between Raymond Chandler and Jasper Fforde and you will end up with this book. It is set in an alternate reality version of Aberystwyth (like Fforde's alternate reality in the Thursday Next novels). Druids run the place as the mob, s
...more
F.R.
Jan 30, 2010 F.R. rated it really liked it
I’ve read other books in Malcolm Pryce’s Aberystwyth series, but never the first one. Having now raced through it (it’s the perfect book for a wet afternoon), I have to say it’s the best. Whimsy is something I can take or leave, but Pryce’s placing of a hard boiled world in a West Wales town is one that carries a great deal of wit and charm. Whelk bars and ice-cream parlours stand in for speakeasies, the good time girls all wear traditional Welsh outfits, and a long ago war between Wales and Pat ...more
David Manns
Hmm. Bit of a mixed bag this one. Set in an alternate Aberystwyth run by the Druids, private investigator Louie Knight walks those mean streets trying to find out who's killing off local schoolboys. And why is headmaster and chief Druid Lovespoon building an Ark. What is the secret of the doomed raid on Rio Caeriog during the Welsh-Patagonian War....no stay with me here. Amusing but a big saggy in the middle, this is a good book to while away the hours if you have nothing better to read. I suspe ...more
Trish
Apr 27, 2008 Trish rated it really liked it
Written in the old pulp fiction/detective style, but twists it on its head by setting it in Aberystwyth (a small coastal town in Wales). Still it has all the old noir elements (the Druid mafia, the all-knowing barkeep - who runs the ice cream stand, the femme fatale and the hapless hero, Louie Knight), but written with its tongue firmly in its cheek. First of (currently) four in the series.
Rikard
A very witty novel! Pryce has balanced well the references to all things Welsh in a way as to laugh with them and not at them. I can see this on the TV, and hope that one day someone would take up the rights. :) Pryce i think has invented Welsh Noir! :D
Zareen
Sep 30, 2016 Zareen rated it really liked it
A light hearted spoof of the underworld of an alternative Aberystwyth. It was all about gangsters & nightclub singers. I enjoyed it and it is a good light hearted novel.
Shonari
Feb 12, 2015 Shonari rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub
Hmmm good book for book club. A few questions left unanswered and character development was a bit half-assed. Not a bad read on a whole.
Stephenson Holt
Mar 13, 2017 Stephenson Holt rated it it was amazing
Another holiday read. Browsing the shelves of 'BOOKS ETC.' in Gatwick airport when suddenly the word Aberystwyth jumped out at me - but surely I was wrong and had misread the title as the picture on the front had nothing to do with the town I know so well. The brash colours of this typically American looking 'Dime Thriller' even has printed on crease marks to make the book look well thumbed. I wont say that I couldn't put this book down, just that I bought it at 7.00am and it was finished by 11p ...more
Tyrone
Dec 11, 2011 Tyrone rated it liked it
Recommends it for: The Welsh
Very few people manage to pull off the trick of creating a humourous story ingrained in the genre it owes it's existence to, while successfully keeping its tongue firmly in it's cheek and winking at its audience. Many readers are not able to make that step from the genre they enjoy meaning that few authors are able to bridge that gap and become successful and well known from doing this.

For those authors who are successful I'm thinking of humourous fiction aimed at specific genres (like SF and F
...more
Paul  Perry
The first of Malcolm Pryce's Louie Knight Mysteries introduces us to a world where the language and mores of a Raymond Chandler novel are transported to the small Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth. The local bars are replaced by an ice cream vendor and a 24 hour whelk stall, the girls at the strip club dress in flirtatious versions of Welsh national costume. As this suggests, the version of Wales Pryce presents is slightly surreal, with witchcraft and runes and a town council run by a mob of cor ...more
Jordan Forster
Dec 19, 2010 Jordan Forster rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-welsh
Two books published in 2001 pushed the West Wales Aberystwyth into the literary spotlight. One was Niall Griffiths’ Grits (the Trainspotting of Wales), which examined the underbelly of the Town’s existence through the drug-fuelled lives of a group of twentysomething ‘down-and-outs’. Pryce instead takes Aberystwyth through the twilight zone and we find a world were druids are not bard-spouting members of the Welsh intelligentsia, but sharp-suit wearing gangsters and pimps; where vanilla ice cream ...more
Katerine
Oct 06, 2011 Katerine rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, humour, noir
Уэльс не так-то прост. Кто-то узнал об этом, посмотрев Torchwood, кто-то одобряет Валлийскую социалистическую республику у Ффорде, кто-то просто любит валлийских лучников (я, например). Теперь же можно сказать, что и с нуаром на зелёных равнинах всё в порядке.

Аберистуит – насквозь прогнивший город, где всем заправляют Друиды. Да-да, те самые – несколько лет назад из скромных хранителей традиций в белых балахонах они стали реальной силой. И тут же сменили балахоны на строгие деловые костюмы. Стои
...more
Mike Steven
Mar 17, 2013 Mike Steven rated it liked it
I only picked this up because I went to Aberystwyth university, saw this book in a charity shop and felt momentarily sentimental about my one-time home.

Essentially, it's an American private investigator novel, set in 1980's Aberystwyth. Much of the humour derives from him replacing things from the American underworld with characters or things from a mid-Wales seaside town. As such, despite what it says on the cover, the appeal of the novel is not that it is "gloriously funny".

I enjoyed the book
...more
Katie Lumsden
May 20, 2015 Katie Lumsden rated it liked it
Published in 2001, Malcolm Pryce’s Aberystwyth Mon Amour is the first book in the Louie Knight Mysteries, a comic detective series. It’s set in an alternate 1980s, where Wales is an independent country. The town of Aberystwyth is controlled by the Druids, a sort of magical mafia. They are led by Grand Wizard Lovespoon, the sinister Welsh teacher from the local school, and his other teacher friends. In this strange and original setting, schoolboys start to go missing – and it’s up to Louie Knight ...more
Elizabeth
Sep 22, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book 4 stars! I actually found this books first few chapters very hard to get into because he had a noir theme so i kept forgetting in my head it was set in the 80s and not the 20s. I also found the slight mix of fantasy and all the different groups very difficult to deal with as they weren't introduced well enough for me to get an actual grip on them. However once the plot came in to play i found i had to know what was going to happen. I was definitely intrigued and i think it helpe ...more
Sally
Funny in parts... but overall rather too silly, 14 Jun. 2016

This review is from: Aberystwyth Mon Amour (Paperback)
A take-off of Raymond Chandler's detective novels, but instead of the clubs and speak-easies of 50s America, the action takes place in the Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth. A town where the Druids definitely run the show, where the lovely Myfanwy Montez sings in the Moulin Goch club, and where "Usual is it?" refers not to a scotch on the rocks but a double with extra ripple. And wh
...more
Booksy
Apr 17, 2012 Booksy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
This book had all the ingredients of a superb work of literary fantasy thriller: imaginary world, comic dialogues and quite idiosyncratic characters and fast-paced plot. And yet! The practice showed that when you mix Chandler, Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde, the final results could be quite below the catching-your-breath excitement when opening the first page. It just didn’t work together: it simply wasn’t original. It picked up towards the end and the revelations of the mystery works in favo ...more
Jacob Chinchen
Feb 07, 2014 Jacob Chinchen rated it really liked it
I've given this 4 stars. I really wanted to give it 3.5 because I liked it - as evidenced by the fact that I pretty much read it non-stop, but I also didn't like it as much as I thought I would as evidenced by the fact that I didn't particularly laugh at any of it. I smiled occasionally, but that was as far as it got which, judging from the blurb on the back, is the wrong kind of reaction because this is a book with such abundant comic talent, apparently. Maybe it was too abundant. Maybe I could ...more
Deirdre
Although this was a relatively quick read (at a little under 250 books it's quite short compared to a lot I've read recently) it's not really to my taste. It's a story of a slightly alternate Aberystwyth where Wales is independent and has fought in a war. I had recently read about Patagonia and it's relationship with Wales and the Welsh.

This is a story about a detective, actually the only detective in Aberystwyth and a case he's brought into by Myfanwy Montez, there are schoolboys dying, the Dru
...more
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Malcolm Pryce is a British author, mostly known for his noir detective novels.

Born in Shrewsbury, England, Pryce moved at the age of nine to Aberystwyth, where he later attended Penglais Comprehensive School before leaving to do some travelling. After working in a variety of jobs. including BMW assembly-line worker in Germany, hotel washer-up, "the world's worst aluminium salesman", and deck hand
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More about Malcolm Pryce...

Other Books in the Series

Aberystwyth Noir (6 books)
  • Last Tango in Aberystwyth (Aberystwyth Noir, #2)
  • The Unbearable Lightness Of Being In Aberystwyth (Aberystwyth Noir, #3)
  • Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth (Aberystwyth Noir, #4)
  • From Aberystwyth with Love (Aberystwyth Noir, #5)
  • The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still (Aberystwyth Noir, #6)

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“That's the trouble with people like you, Knight, you only know how to mock. How to break things. You don't know how to create anything. You never did.” 2 likes
“– Второе правило частного детектива.
Она посмотрела на меня с интересом:
– Это какое?
– Береги башмаки.
Амба нахмурилась.
– Это означает, что ни к чему трепать кожу на подметках, слоняясь по городу, когда многое можно сделать головой.
– А первое правило частного детектива?
– Не становиться частным детективом.”
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